By Rosalind Russell – The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission has made its first change to Northern Ontario by realigning new boundaries for a riding.
According to MP Charlie Angus, the Commission tabled the change in the House of Commons last week and should be official in September to allow for extra representation in the south.
He says the new riding is Kapuskasing-Timmins-Mushkegowuk, which starts in the Kirkland Lake area, capturing communities along Highway 11 North and extends up to Peawanuck with a population of nearly 94,000.
He says his position as the current elected representative does not change, however, the map with new boundaries will be used in the next election.
Angus adds with the changes, Englehart, Earlton, Thornloe and Elk Lake will be part of the new North Bay riding.
According to Angus, cutting a boundary through Temiskaming was done without any input from affected residents and effectively cuts the constituents off from Kirkland Lake and Timmins.
The Commission is also advocating to split the Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing riding with its southeastern portion joining a bigger Nickel Belt riding, renamed Manitoulin-Nickel Belt.
The Sudbury riding would also grow, absorbing Coniston, Wahnapitae, Wanup, Garson, Falconbridge and Skead.
All the communities including in the new Kapuskasing-Timmins-Mushkegowuk riding are Timmins, Cochrane, Hearst, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Kirkland Lake, Moosonee, Smooth Rock Falls, Black River-Matheson, Chapleau, Fauquier-Strickland, Gauthier, Larder Lake, Matachewan, Mattice-Val Côté, McGarry, Moonbeam, Opasatika, and Val Rita-Harty. The First Nations communities included are Abitibi, Attawapiskat, Chapleau No. 74A and 75, Chapleau Cree Fox Lake, Constance Lake, Duck Lake, Factory Island, Flying Post, Fort Albany, Matachewan, Moose Factory, New Post and Peawanuck.
Photo: Changes to ridings in northeastern Ontario have begun. Photo provided by The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission